|Thyme & Elato|
|Thyme & Elato|
|Sage & Elato|
|Sage & Elato|
Ambrosia - Food of the Greek GodsAmbrosia was the food of the gods and goddesses in Greek mythology. It was often accompanied by the drink nectar in celebrations, and indeed, ambrosia and nectar both appear in myth and literature as divine confections that were guaranteed to satisfy the hunger and/or thirst of any immortal resident of Mt. Olympus.
While scholars are not entirely certain what the ancient Greeks thought the composition of ambrosia (or its liquid counterpart, for that matter) actually was,it is believed that these mythical items had some connection to a sweet treat enjoyed by mortals throughout the ages - honey. Honey was highly regarded by the people of ancient Greece, so this suggestion makes sense.
Ambrosia made more than just a delightful meal, however. There are several episodes in Greek myth in which ambrosia is used by the gods and goddesses as a sort of balm, to confer grace or even immortality (in the case of mortals) onto the recipient. One such incident that demonstrates how ambrosia was used to beautify involves Aphrodite, the enchanting goddess of love. In the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, the goddess prepares herself for some serious seduction with the assistance of eau de ambrosia:
" ...there the Graces bathed her and anointed her with ambrosian oil such as is rubbed on deathless gods, divinely sweet, and made fragrant for her sake."
And while this may have been an example of gilding the lily (Aphrodite already being irresistible), ambrosia played a more serious part in other myths. In one poignant and memorable scene from Homer's Iliad, the sea-nymph Thetis uses ambrosia and nectar to preserve the body of the dead warrior Patroclus. In the same epic, Zeus calls upon Apollo to anoint another fallen hero - this time, Sarpe.
In the legend, the knowledge of the qualities of the honey, in the ancient world are superbly illustrated.
Honey is nourishing.
Honey is an excellent antiseptic.
Honey is a superb cosmetic, as its use in the preparation of modern cosmetics proves.
Honey products (propolis) and wax, are two of the best-known preservatives, ideal for embalming.
The richness of the Greek flora, and the fact that Greek honey is not the result of organized farming, but the product of bees feeding on the wild, makes it the best in the world.
The beekeepers, take their bees to the flowers in common land, mainly high in the mountains as the following note written by a beekeeper, illustrates.
“A beekeeper's life varies according to season, weather condition, distance, number of beehives he owns and many other factors. It can be tiring, dangerous, pleasant but it is always interesting and…sweet. When you carry the beehives to remote places, mainly on mountains, you can have a flat tire, for example, and nobody for miles to help you. Or a beehives door may accidentally open, and before you know it, a few hundred bees sting you. When you harvest the honey, you must carry it to the place you have parked your truck and believe me, honey is very heavy. Fatigue is always forgotten when you get back home and extract the honey from the combs.
In very dry areas in the summer, you have to carry water to your bees and when you take them to the islands, on a ferry, you must monitor the temperature all the time, or the high heat may kill all your bees. But please do not despair! Dealing with bees brings you closer to the Creator, whatever his name may be. A logical, fully organized society appears before your eyes, every time you visit them. Distribution of work and roles, tidiness, ability to make perfect hexagon cells, make you think, that a bee is something divine. You will be well advised not to visit them if you are not clean, or if you are wearing perfumes. You will be attacked. They want you pure as they are, and as it is their precious product.”
Beekeepers harvesting the mountains of Southern Peloponnesus and Central Greece, have directly supplied our honeys. The predominate varieties of Thyme, Elato (Alpine pine), Sage, Chestnut, Oak, Beech and Arbutus, together with a myriad of other wild plants and flowers blended by nature, have provided our three honey varieties, unparallel in taste and aroma.